Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas - PlayStation 4 Review
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, iOS
- Players – 1
- Achievements – Yes, trophies/achievements
- Steam Trading Cards - Yes
- Controller Support - Yes, Full
- Retail Price - $14.99 on console, $8.99 on mobile
High Level Premise – Classic Action/Adventure dungeon crawler
Graphics/Style – 2.5D animated action adventure
Music/Soundtrack – Enjoy a soundtrack composed by Kenji Ito (Seiken Densetsu/Secret of Mana series)
Story – Embark on a quest to defeat the most dangerous creature of the sea, Oceanhorn
Replay-ability – Moderately Low – Trophies/achievements allow for some extra meddling among the world.
Time Commitment – 12-15 hours for quest completion
Value – Moderately high, as Oceanhorn provides a “Grade A” polished experience on console.
Favorite Element – Vibrant and variable environments are inviting and fun to explore!
Sean says: Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is the mobile love-song to the classic Zelda titles of yesterday. The great success it’s had on the iOS platform has allowed it to branch out among consoles, offering the same great experience, now with tangible controls. Its roots are deeply tied to the overhead exploration of the action/adventure games of the past, all the while maintaining a fresh balance of old & new, and bringing along a unique style of its own.
You would be forgiven for not knowing the origin of Oceanhorn was on mobile prior to these terrific console ports. Everything from the visuals, mechanics, controls, and music display little resemblance of having mobile origins. In fact, I was unaware of this until doing a bit of research on the title after several hours deep into the adventure. The game absolutely feels at home on console, with the controls feeling more than natural using the DualShock 4 controller (as reviewed).
With that being said, it blows my mind as to why Cornfox & Bros, along with publisher FDG Entertainment held off on announcing a PlayStation Vita port until several days ago. Knowing that the game is capable of running on mobile platforms, it would have been a no-brainer to bring Oceanhorn to the Vita first. The platform has a large attach rate overall, with a release forecast that is becoming drier by the month. Coming in at $14.99 with full trophy support and tangible controls, the creators could have cleaned house if the Vita port was released at the right time. While better late than never, there is little to revisit when the Vita version drops, unless of course it contains its own stackable trophy set (wishful thinking).
All in all, Oceanhorn is a great Action/Adventure tribute to yesterday. The small price of admission for this excellent experience offers a tremendous value within its pint-sized adventure. While the absence of a Vita port feels like a missed opportunity during its console launch, Oceanhorn is sure to please just about anyone looking for a spoonful of nostalgia on their console this fall.
Gareth says: A solid tribute to the Zelda games that all of us here on Gaming with Swag grew up with. It does a great job sticking to a tired and true formula, while still sticking out as a fresh and new game of its own. A quick and enjoyable title that will leave many with a pleasant experience. The game takes place in a world where the ocean is vast and calls to be explored. As you progress through the game, more and more islands become available for you to explore. The islands may be small with just a few treasures to be found, or huge islands that are part of the main story and take some time to fully explore. The world is colorful and never feels dull. Each island has its own feeling to it, which keeps the game progression fresh.
Gameplay is like any Zelda from the 8 and 16-bit eras. Swords, bows, and bombs are available for the player to take down the enemies. The enemies all have a health bar which is a nice addition. For every enemy defeated, chest found, or task completed, the player is awarded XP. Leveling up and collecting experience is always a nice addition to any game. Now that I think of it, it is almost expected at this point. It is hard to find a game that doesn't include some form of RPG elements these days, so when a game doesn't include any, it always leaves me feeling a bit empty. Puzzles difficulty progresses slightly, but never really gets to the point where you will need to refer to a strategy guide often.
The story is here and isn't really good or bad. It is the story of a boy out on a mission that he has had since he was born. A deeper story is always welcomed but not really necessary in this game. From what I have read, the sequel to this game will be more like the 64 games so I will be expecting there to be more from that. This was a solid tribute to the first runs of Zelda, where the story was never the main focus.
Oceanhorn is a game that will be great if you are feeling nostalgic and would like to step away from current games. A fantastic pickup for a long weekend that can be started and finished leaving you feeling satisfied. For people like us that don't have all that much time to put into games, this feels like a perfect fit. I have yet to turn on the Witcher 3 because every time it crosses my mind, I think of hours and hours of commitment that I just can't put into it. With the situation I am in now, Oceanhorn provides an experience that suits me better.